Ron Paul Is Not a Libertarian

Why do people keep referring to Ron Paul as a Libertarian? The guy wouldn’t recognize Libertarianism if it stared him in the face:

Stuck in Washington as Congress faces votes on continued funding of American military action in Libya, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, making his third bid for the White House, spoke via Skype to pro-life activists convening in Jacksonville.

“I talk a lot about right-to-life,” said Paul, who called it “the most important issue of our age.”

As Jeffe Fecke at the link I provided above says:

Any serious attempt abortion would require draconian government action that would seriously endanger liberty for women, and even then, it would probably fail. It would require a massive outlay of cash and capital, of police and state resources. It would require spot inspections of health care facilities, and investigation of miscarriages. It would be about as anti-freedom an act as one could reasonably expect.

If anybody has forgotten, Ayn Rand was a passionate champion of abortion rights and believed that they are indispensable for a society even to begin to call itself free.

Ron Paul is nothing but a religious fanatic who is upset at the separation of church and state as it is established by the Constitution of the United States:

“The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders’ political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion.”

This is Ron Paul speaking, in case you didn’t know. He’s nothing but yet another Palin, Pawlenty, Perry, Bachmann, and Bush: a crazed fundamentalist who’s using quasi-Libertarian vocabulary from time to time in order to dupe the naive into following him.

27 thoughts on “Ron Paul Is Not a Libertarian”

  1. I agree that Ron Paul is not a libertarian. Few politicians are because the profession is not exactly one that squares with their supposed ideology.

    I think that it is wrong to link all politicians who profess to be religious as alike. For example, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are incomparably inferior in terms of experience and intellect to Perry. It is possible to be both a believer in Christianity and a good politician. George Washington was one such! As was Ronald Reagan.

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    1. I expect a good politician to subject hid or her religious beliefs to their respect for the constitution. Now is not the time to start rewriting that document, in my opinion. I think we should first dig ourselves out of the hole we are currently in. Nothing is worng with the Constitution and its separation of church and state. There are other much more pressing issues that need to be addressed.

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  2. There’s even a “Libertarian Troll Bingo” which has a square that says, “Is an Atheist, but Anti-Choice”, which speaks to how common, unfortunately, Ron Paul’s brand of faux-Libertarianism is, to the point where I have never in my life met a self-identified Libertarian who wasn’t anti-choice.
    This has led to the joke among people my age that Libertarians are little other than Republicans who want to have sex and smoke weed without any consequence to *themselves* (important emphasis)

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  3. Technically, he is an ex-Libertarian, but the rhetoric of Ron Paul sounds to my ears less like that of the Libertarian Party than like that of the John Birch Society.

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  4. A large percentage of Paulista trolls seem to be unaware of the religious agenda of the Pauls, or are aware and deny like crazy.

    Part of the appeal of Paul-style “libertarianism” is that the label gives a respectable face to old-fashioned racism and nostalgia for segregation. Racists can’t hide behind the Confederate flag anymore. BTW, Kentucky is very definitely Southern in culture, and was a slave state.

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  5. What is a libertarian?

    I read the blogs of people who claim to be libertarians, and its really hard to tell.

    Some sound like libertines.

    Some sound like liberals on steroids.

    Some sound as though they believe the universe has given them the right to grind the face of the poor into the dirt, forever, and that are just longing for the opportunity to do it.

    And some sound like all three, switching from one to the other in as many sentences.

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  6. “He’s nothing but yet another Palin, Pawlenty, Perry, Bachmann, and Bush: a crazed fundamentalist who’s using quasi-Libertarian vocabulary from time to time in order to dupe the naive into following him.”

    This is exaggerated. However, I agree with most of your post.

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  7. I agree with most of what Ron Paul has to say…indeed, RP introduced me to libertarianism…but for me the huge sticking point is abortion. If he emerges as the most credible Republican candidate, this would be the issue that would force me to leave him behind.

    I spent about two years in his Campaign for Liberty, and to this day wonder why I was one of the few women coming to meetings and participating in activism. Those who characterize him as a closet racist don’t know what they are talking about…this brand of libertarianism is profoundly sexist. I stopped going to meetings, and it’s doubtful I will go back.

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    1. I don’t believe that Ron Paul is in any sense a racist, but he has a reputation (whether deserved or not) for not distancing himself from racists.

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  8. Being pro-life doesn’t automatically disqualify you from being a libertarian, if you accept the premise that fetuses have rights (I personally don’t). In fact, if you believed that, failure to defend those rights would be to abandon the one role government legitimately has. That said, Paul doesn’t want a federal ban on abortion but to make it a state issue, effectively banning it in red states but not (most) blue ones. That would be very unfortunate, but considering that some religious nuts would vote for a federal amendment to ban abortion, that’s highly preferable.

    As for Paul being a religious fanatic, that’s an exaggeration. He’s a mainstream conservative on most religious issues (doesn’t believe in evolution but doesn’t make a big deal out of it either) but fairly tolerant compared to the Christian Right (how many Republicans defended the “Ground Zero Mosque” besides Paul?). I think his stance on church & state separation is dead wrong, because if you reject the incorporation of the establishment and free exercise clauses, why not let state legislatures piss all over the 2nd and 4th Amendments as well? Still, I really don’t think Ron Paul is the kind of dominionist tyrant Michele Bachmann seems to be.

    Is Ron Paul a libertarian? I think he is, but a somewhat inconsistent one. (So am I, so that’s not a fault in my books) However, I don’t really understand why people feel the need to jum on him on these kind of issues when the president’s role is really about handling the military and the economy. If he really wanted to overturn Roe vs. Wade, he could try to stack the SCOTUS with conservative judges, but he would need a Republican Senate to do that, and the Republican establishment knows that the decision would be a political suicide.

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    1. “However, I don’t really understand why people feel the need to jum on him on these kind of issues when the president’s role is really about handling the military and the economy.”

      -Because a religious fanatic (or a person endorsed by them and beholden to them) is a menace to humanity when he has access to the US military.

      Maybe he is marginally better than Bachmann. However, if this is his only qualification, that’s sad.

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      1. I’m not going to argue whether Ron Paul is a true Scots^H^H^H^H libertarian, but he’s spent a lot of time on the record about military/foreign policy matters. You don’t need to use his religious beliefs as a proxy for what his preferences in that area are.

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        1. I don’t know if he has religious beliefs. What I do know is that he is running with the support of a crazed religious crowd that can’t wait for the sinful world to end and bring about the second coming. I have absolutely no trust in Ron Paul managing to resist their pressure once in office. If you get elected, you have to give back to those who got you elected.

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      2. “Because a religious fanatic (or a person endorsed by them and beholden to them) is a menace to humanity when he has access to the US military.”

        LOL, now Ron Paul is a neo-con.

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  9. I’ve been saying this for months and its nice to find even more people that agree with me.
    Ron Paul is an Anti-abortion Theocrat, doing a bad impression of a Libertarian.

    The sad and worrying thing is that people around my age on the other side of the Atlantic are indeed being ‘duped’. I think it has more to do with disillusionment to the current system than it does any of Ron Paul’s shameless exploitation of the the noble concept of Libertarianism.

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